tips for a healthy septic system Tips For A Healthy Septic System Does your home operate with a septic system? If so, its important to provide regular maintenance to keep everything running efficiently, and avoid bigger problems down the road.

How often a system should be pumped depends on a number of factors:

  • The size of the tank
  • The number of people using the tank
  • How many gray water producing appliances are in use regularly
  • How much medication a person is using, since large amounts can impact the bacterial action of the tank

At a bare minimum, a septic tank should be pumped every 1 to 3 years. However, if your regularly scheduled maintenance is still a ways away, and you begin noticing:

  • Standing water in the leaching area
  • Lush vegetation
  • Odor or slow drainage in household drains
  • Sewage backup

It can be a sign of blockage, and maintenance work should be conducted as soon as possible.

While pumping regularly is the best way to maintain a healthy septic system, you should also be conscious of what is going down into your system, and change some of your daily patterns if necessary.

  • Never allow excess amounts of grease to enter your system
  • Don’t allow a water softener system to drain into your septic tank
  • Stagger laundry loads; you should never wash a dozen loads of laundry, allowing the soap to drain in the septic system all at once
  • Never use large amounts of chemicals, such as detergents, bleach, or chemical cleaners
  • Keep heavy equipment from driving or parking on your system
  • Never ignore plumbing leaks. Any leak can quickly saturate the system and turn small problems into large ones very quickly

If you have a plumbing problem, it could originate from your septic system. Pump regularly, stick with a routine maintenance schedule to reduce the chances of future problems, and give us a call whenever you have a question. No question is too small; and the small ones can help you eliminate the chance for large problems down the road.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Nothing can be worse than walking into a room and finding a puddle of water. Water damage can quickly add up, so finding the root of the problem and fixing it fast is your only course of action.

Leaky pipes are big problems. But in some cases, it may take a little bit of time to get a plumber out to your home. If turning the water off at the source isn’t a solution – you still have to live in your home in the mean time – there are a few ways you can temporarily fix a leaky pipe.3 quick ways to fix your leaky pipes 3 Quick Ways To Fix Your Leaky Pipes

 

Plumbers Epoxy

Plumbing epoxy is a putty like substance that is comparable to the molding clay you played with as a child. Turn off the water supply to the pipe you will be working on. Dry it off as much as you can. Take a small amount of epoxy and knead it a few times before molding it over the crack. Push it around the crack to make sure it adheres and covers the crack completely. Let it harden for a few minutes, then turn the water back on and look for leaks.

Pipe Repair Clamp

Start by turning off the water supply and drying the area thoroughly. Then wrap plastic or a rubber patch around the effected area. Seal it with electrical tape to hold it in place. Finally, fasten a clamp around the patch putting pressure on the seal. Test it before you continue using your fixture as normal.

Duct Tape

In many ways, duct tape is the cure-all for all kinds of home maintenance projects. And with a leaky pipe, its no exception. Turn off the water supply and dry the impacted area. Tightly wrap duct tape around the pipe, making sure to go beyond the area that is leaking. Its important to create a tight seal, as any space will allow water to seep through.

While none of these solutions will hold you for the long term, they will give you a chance to contact a reputable plumber and get them to your home as quickly as possible.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Hiring a plumber isn’t something you do every day. In fact, in most cases its something you do in an unexpected, emergency situation, which makes the process that much more frustrating. You may have been saving money for something else, and all of a sudden you’re hit with a large bill.

Why does a plumber cost so much?

Well, there are several reasons for that.

First of all, when you hire a plumber for an emergency situation, its usually a fairly big problem within your home. Like a water heater that breaks, flooding your basement with several inches of water. Not only do you have to replace the water heater, but you have to replace all of the items damaged with flood water. Yes, the entire process can be very expensive.

why does a plumber cost so much Why Does A Plumber Cost So Much?

Even if you inquire for smaller jobs, the estimates can sometimes be higher than what you anticipate. Does it really cost that much to replace a toilet and faucets in a bathroom? Its only natural to question the fee that made it to the bottom of your estimate.

Which brings us to reason two. Plumbers charge what they do because of the time it takes to master their skill. Here in Colorado, there are three skill levels a plumber can achieve:

  • Residential plumber – 2 years on the job or 3,400 hours of practical experience
  • Journeyman plumber – 4 years or 6.800 hours of practical experience
  • Master plumber – 5 years of experience

Milestones for each are also capped off by a rigorous test, meaning if a plumber arrives at your door with one of these skill levels in place, they are well trained for whatever problems they face within your home.

We believe that all of our work should be completed satisfactorily the first time. Which is why we make sure all of our plumbers are well trained and experienced to trouble shoot, diagnose, evaluate, repair and install every type of plumbing fixture imaginable within your home. If you have a specific problem – sewer line problem, tankless water heater issue, boiler not working – we’ll make sure a well qualified plumber who has specific knowledge will answer the call.

The real value of a plumber not only comes from the skill and knowledge level of the plumber showing up at your door, it also comes from the company that he represents. We’ve built a business here in Denver over the last few years with thousands of happy customers all over the metro area. We do that by:

  • Being available 24/7, when you need us most
  • Treating your home with respect, as if it were our own
  • Providing you with options and letting you make the decision that’s right for your family
  • Providing an estimate before work is done, so you know the details before you make a final decision

While calling a plumber may be because of an emergency situation, we want to provide you with the best experience from the time we pick up the phone. We’re here for you … just call.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

There is one appliance in your home that receives its fair share of daily use. Yet chances its not one of the things that makes your list when you talk about remodeling or upgrading.

Its your toilet.

The life expectancy of a toilet can vary greatly, but like everything in our homes, there comes a point in time when replacing it is the better solution. How do you know if you’ve reached that point?

Cracksis it time to replace your toilet Is It Time To Replace Your Toilet?

Cracks can occur either in the tank or in the bowl. In many cases they are hard to spot. If a crack goes unnoticed, it can quickly grow and build, releasing a flood of water in a short period of time. A simple way to determine if you have a crack is to drop a few drops of food coloring in to the tank. Wait a few minutes. If the food coloring seeps into the bowl, you have a leak and it may be caused by a crack.

Age

If your home was built in the 80s or before, and the toilet has never been upgraded, you are still operating with a full flush toilet. Toilets from this era used 3.5 gallons of water or more with every flush. In 1992, the Energy Policy Act was signed into law, making 1.6 gallons per flush a maximum for all new toilets produced. With today’s technology, you can find low flow toilets at this water level and below – ever considered a dual flush toilet in your home? You may be surprised by all the options available to you.

Cost

When a toilet reaches a certain point, you may be spending more on replacement parts then you would by replacing the entire toilet. If you’ve replaced a part more than once per year, its time to look at replacing the entire unit rather than working your way through part by part.

Clogs

A toilet constantly clogs, it may be time for an upgrade. Especially with an older low flow toilet, if you find yourself consistently plunging, or flushing more than once on a regular basis, it’s a wise decision to upgrade.

Have any questions about your toilet or your plumbing? One of our licensed plumbers can assess your situation and give you the best options for repair and/or replacement. Give us a call today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Nothing can be more exciting than buying a new home. However, if two weeks after you move in things start happening with your plumbing system, you may soon be convinced you purchased the “money pit”. There is a way to avoid all of that … perform a plumbing inspection before buying a home, and you’ll find out the condition before you put in that final offer.

perform these plumbing inspections before buying a home Perform These Plumbing Inspections Before Buying A Home

Start by checking your main sewer line.

A home’s plumbing operates in one of two ways: by a municipal sewer system or a septic tank. Start by asking the seller about the plumbing history of the home, age of major appliances including the water heater, and about any work that may still be under warranty. To find out the condition of the municipal sewer system, a plumbing contractor can come in and set up a camera line inspection to quickly tell you the overall condition of the plumbing. If the house runs on a septic tank, find out where its located, the capacity of the tank, and the location of the drain field. Consider having it inspected as well.

Inspect the water heater.

Find out where the water heater is in the home, its capacity and how old it is. Water heaters typically last anywhere from 8 to 12 years. If you see visible signs of corrosion, you can ask for a new one to be installed before closing. To verify the age, find the serial number which is located on the plate of the water heater. It will have the age on it as well.

Find leaks in the system

Part of the inspection process should be to spend time in the home and locate smaller potential problems. As you make your way from room to room, do you notice any drips of water coming from the fixtures? Do you see small wet spots where they shouldn’t be? What you may have missed in the few minutes you spent in the home while deciding whether to put in an offer, can easily come to light when you spend more time in a room.

Flush every toilet

Flush every toilet in the home and make sure it works properly, filling back up with water in a timely basis. Do you hear small leaks? Also check around the base for evidence of prior leaks.

Look for adequate protection on risky pipes

If you’ve ever dealt with a frozen pipe, you know how devastating it can be. As you are making your way through your home inspection, look for visible signs of previous pipe problems, and also look for potential problems in the future. Pipes on outside walls without adequate protection are signs you may have a future problem without upgrading the situation now.

Check for lead pipes

In homes built before 1986, you’ll often find lead or galvanized plumbing. Lead is an environmental hazard, and precautions should be taken to avoid using lead in your water supply. If the system hasn’t been updated, talk about your options before you sign on the dotted line.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Unfortunately, few things in your home scream emergency quite like a plumbing problem. When a pipe bursts, spraying water all over your home, the last thing you think about is comparison shopping. Instead, you want help fast and you want it NOW.

That’s also the easiest way to get into trouble, paying exorbitant fees for in some cases sub-par work. Plumbers know this. And if you get a less than scrupulous plumber on the phone during your weekend or holiday emergency, it’s a recipe for disaster.

how to hire a plumber in an emergency How To Hire A Plumber In An Emergency

Of course you know this – that’s why this process is so difficult. With every phone call you make, you see the dollar signs flashing before your eyes. But what else can you do?

Actually, quite a bit.

Instead of heading to the nearest phone book or sending out a search to Google from your iPhone, take a step back first. The most important part of a plumbing emergency is to stop the problem first, and in most cases you can do that easily. Plumbing means water – you have to stop the water flow to begin to control the problem. Find the water supply main shut off valve and turn it off. That cuts the water flow, and buys you time to take the next steps without being in a state of panic.

All major appliances that use water have a shut off valve to control water at the source. If you are sure where the problem originates, you can head straight to the appliance and cut the water supply there. If not, all homes have a main shut off valve that controls the water supply from the municipal to your home. Its typically located near your water meter, either in the basement or crawl space of your home, or outside near the pavement or sidewalk. When you find this valve, you will need a wrench to shut off the water supply.

Once you shut off the water source, its important to check and make sure you have stopped the leak. Keep in mind that depending on what is leaking or broke may have residual water, so its important to monitor it and make sure the water stops. This will buy you some time to find a reputable plumber that can help you fix your problem at a reasonable cost.

If you can wait for normal working hours, this will give you a chance to do a little research and find reputable plumbers in your area. Choose a few and connect with them to ask a few questions. Provide as much detail as you can about the situation, and ask about their availability and their approach to the problem. You can learn quite a bit about a plumber by the way they respond to your needs.

If you are dealing with weekend or holiday hours, and the situation can’t wait until the next normal work day, this also gives you time to do a little research. You can approach finding a plumber in much the same way, yet keep in mind you’ll have to ask about special rates and availability.

Plumbing is a very competitive marketplace, and you’ll find all kinds of information online. Check out a plumbers website – does it look professional? How involved are they in the community – do they have good reviews by local organizations? In today’s world, you can find reviews and feedback in a variety of places. When you’ve narrowed your search down to a few plumbers, spend time getting comfortable with a potential plumber. If you see negative review after negative review, it may be a sign to proceed with caution.

Also make sure you understand the billing process. Every plumber will quote in a different manner. Some with higher hourly rates may charge you only for the time in your home, versus a lower hourly rate may be charging you from his location and back again. If something doesn’t make sense or doesn’t compare, ask. A reputable plumber will help you understand it thoroughly and help you make an educated decision.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

We’re a society of do-it-yourselfers and quick fixes. If something is broke, we want to fix it fast. And if we can head down to the big box store and pick up a quick fix we can do ourselves, all the better.

While its true that some minor clogs can be fixed quickly with home remedies, minor problems are often a sign of a larger problem lurking in the wings. If you have any of these problems in your home, it may be time to call in a professional before the problem escalates.

5 common drain problems that signal it may be time to call in a professional 5 Common Drain Problems That Signal It May Be Time To Call In A Professional

Slow Drain

A slow drain might not seem like a big issue. After all, the water still flows, albeit on a slow basis. Slow drains can indicate a variety of problems, including a pipe that has a buildup of grease or oil blocking the path, improper grading of the drainage system, or even early warning signs of a larger block deeper down. When you attempt to clear a drain yourself, you only touch surface problems – clogs that are close to the surface of your drain. It’s the deeper problems that can cause the largest messes.

Recurring Clogs

You clean it. It backs up. You clean it again. Its still running slow. When you have a “problem” drain that consistently seems like it has a problem, it probably does. Clogged drains can often have multiple problem areas where food, grime, hair, oil, and other debris accumulate over time. You might have removed a surface problem, but it’s the problems down the line that are causing your recurring problems.

Multiple Clogs

Your sink backs up. Your toilet overflows. And finally your shower has standing water a few minutes into it. This is a sure sign of a deeper problem; something the plunger or those off the shelf products won’t touch. The problem lies deep in your pipes, and its effecting the functionality of your home. The only way to reach it is with a deep cleaning process from a professional plumber.

Odor

What’s that funny smell? If you notice a distinct smell coming from your drain, especially when it stands for a period of time, it could be a sign of a larger problem. As pollutants build up, they can quickly break down and deteriorate, causing a distinct odor. It may also be a problem with a broken pipe, or a sewer line that needs fixing or restoring. The only way to get to the root of the problem is to call in a professional and find out where the problem begins.

Flooding

Flooding is the most serious of all plumbing problems. When you reach the point of water coming up out of drains in your basement floor, this could indicate a clog in the sewer line. Even a little bit of water can be a strong indication of a bigger problem, so its important to handle it right away. Sewer water means contamination, and the risk of losing personal property is eminent if not dealt with right away.

By ignoring the warning signs, you are setting yourself up for more serious consequences in the future. The easiest way to prevent future disasters is to call in a professional plumber right away.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

With costs for energy rising all the time, and the word “efficiency” attached to everything we do, its easy to see why people can get sucked into a wide array of beliefs when it comes to improving home efficiency. And while many of the “reported” maintenance items will work, many of them are simply myths and urban legends. How do you know the difference? While it is difficult to wade through the information, we’ve put together some of the most common home energy myths and what you can do instead.top plumbing myths debunked Top Plumbing Myths Debunked

Myth: Energy efficiency increases the initial cost of a home.

If you’ve ever set out to upgrade one appliance in your home – a water heater for instance – when you start comparing prices you’ll find the more energy efficient options move to the middle or upper end of the pricing structure. So its natural to assume that when building a home, adding in all of the top of the line energy efficiency items throughout will increase the price of the home. But its not necessarily true. In some instances, smaller, higher efficiency units may take up less space or work more efficiently from the beginning, meaning the home builder can take this into account with the initial build, and provide you with the savings.

Myth: Showering uses less energy and water than taking a bath

This one is a toss up, depending on your home environment. A typical bath takes anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons of water. If you take a 10 minute shower with a low flow showerhead (which typically uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute), it would only use 25 gallons of water. If you haven’t replaced your showerhead with a low flow unit, or have multiple showerheads or special water features, these numbers can go up accordingly. Its important to understand how much water you are using, and limit consumption as much as possible.

Myth: A slow dripping faucet isn’t that significant

Even the tiniest of drips can add up quickly over time. A single dripping faucet can add up to 300 gallons of water per month … all flowing down the drain. Which means of course that your water bill is being impacted by every drip a faucet creates. No matter how slow the drip, fix it as soon as possible.

Myth: Its faster to boil hot water, and therefore takes less energy

In order to get hot water into your teakettle or pot, chances are you had to let the water run from the faucet to bring hot water from the water heater to your faucet. That requires energy. So energy you might have saved from trying to boil already warm water (and the savings isn’t significant), you’ll consume by getting the warmed water into your pot.

Myth: Energy savings isn’t a significant feature in the sale of a home

According to the National Association of Home Builders, study after study shows that homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home if it has Energy Star ratings on heaters, air conditioners and appliances, or meets Green Building Guidelines. If you can show your home has efficiency, and it will be made up in savings on energy bills, people will be more attracted to your home.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

The arrival of winter and cold weather has the potential to invite a multitude of potential plumbing problems into the home as well. Frozen or cracked pipes, a frigid step into a morning shower, small leaks that quickly escalate into big problems, even sudden bursts which cause flooding throughout your home all can make a winter morning even more of a headache.

And while its easy to assume that if you didn’t have problems last year, you’ll be okay this year, it simply isn’t true. Things change, items wear out, and certain condition

s change over time. The only way to prepare for the oncoming winter season is to take the necessary precautions now.

how to keep your water flowing even when its cold How To Keep Your Water Flowing Even When Its Cold

Start on the outside

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to unattach your garden hoses and close off all shut off valves that lead to your outside spigots. Drain off any residual water from spigots or hoses, and blow out sprinkler lines to prevent rupture over the winter months.

Prevent clogged drains

When you’re in the house more, you tend to use your drains more. Make cleaning your drains a part of your routine cleaning process. A simple solution of 1 cup salt, 1 cup baking soda, and ¼ cup cream of tarter, followed by several cups of boiling water will keep your drains naturally clean.

Running water

You know that spare bathroom down in the basement you rarely go into? That’s the place most at risk in your home. On a regular basis throughout the winter, make sure you turn on the water supply and allow the water to run for a minute or two. This will keep things flowing and will prevent freezing, especially on those severe cold spells we receive in December or January.

Plan for Holiday cooking

If you are planning for holiday get togethers and an overabundance of family over the holidays, take extra steps along the way to care for your drains. Cooking grease and oils put a strain on drains, pipes and your garbage disposal. Its one of the biggest factors in build ups, and can quickly begin collecting other matter to cause significant problems. Refrain from putting oils down the drain at all times, and avoid hard to grind or stringy substances as well. Always run cold water for at least 15 seconds before and after each use. Be sure to turn on the disposal before you send food down the drain to allow more power behind the process.

Pipe insulation

Even if you’ve never insulated your pipes before, its never too late to start. Use foam padding sleeves or special insulating tape to guard both hot and cold water pipes against freezing temperatures. If a pipe is exposed and vulnerable to cold temperatures, insulate it for added protection.

If your pipes freeze, burst or crack this winter, start by turning off the water at the main shut off valve. Turn faucets on to relieve pressure. Then use a blow dryer or space heater to begin thawing pipes. Call in Quality 1st Plumbing to help fix any damage, and get you back on track quickly.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

If you’ve ever lifted the lid on the tank of your toilet, you’ve most likely seen the toilet float. The toilet float is the device that allows the water to fill the tank without overflowing. Also called the ballcock or float valve, they’ve changed in design over the years from a variety of materials.

Older style floats consist of a plastic ball attached to a metal rod. And if you go back further, you’ll find floats made of brass, copper or even glass. If you have an older home with old toilets, you may find a vintage float hand blown from glass; they can be quite valuable to collectors.

the basics of toilet tank floats The Basics Of Toilet Tank Floats

The float is often ball shaped, hence the reason it was originally termed ballcock. The valve is connected to the incoming water supply, with the intake opened and closed by a lever with the float attached to it. When the water level rises, the float rises with it. Once it rises to its pre-set level, the mechanism forces the lever to close the valve and shut off the water flow.

Too much water in your tank will cause it to run and waste water. Too little water in your tank will cause flushing issues, which can lead to possible clogs.

The first sign of trouble usually starts with the sound of running water in your tank. And when you hear it, the first place to start is with the tank float.

The first step is to determine what type of tank float you have.

Older toilets will have a large plastic or brass ball connected to a horizontal rod. The rod is connected to the toilet fill valve. Turn the screw to lower the float and continue until the water stops running. Flush the toilet and see where the water stops as it refills. It should be just below the top of the fill tube for the flush valve. If the water is no longer running, problem solved.

Newer tank floats move up and down along a vertical pipe of the toilet fill valve. A common name is Fluidmaster. This fill valve has an adjustment rod on the side of the assembly; you can pinch the spring clip to adjust the float up or down. Move it down slowly, checking in between to see if the water stops or continues to run. When the water stops running, flush the toilet and see if the tank refills to proper levels. Once its refilled, does the water stop running? If so, problem solved.

sidebar coupons 250 The Basics Of Toilet Tank Floats

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

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